I think reading these posts over the years about passenger behavior on a.net and the internet overall have made me personally a bit paranoid about other people and lack of courtesy and awareness stemming from the passenger all the way to the customer-facing airline employees.
There are always two-sides in the following examples:
1) I am usually the last passenger to board on an F or J ticket when I leave Asia as there is more consideration for fellow passengers on departure from Bangkok, Tokyo, and Seoul, for example, flying Korean Air, Delta, and THAI thus have never felt the need to have to wait in Priority Lines or at the gate. Usually, I am in the lounge until FINAL CALL especially since lounge amenities are above and beyond what we have here in the U.S.A. Asians queue organized in most cases versus Westerners.
+ WHY? Because the Gate Agents strictly enforce boarding in Asia - even DL
Agents at Narita, Suvarnabhumi, and Incheon and there is no need to worry about not finding overhead space. Korean Air and THAI always do a great job at enforcing and setting up an organized queue. Twice I flew Y from NRT
flying to the U.S.A. and on both occasions as the last passenger, I was able to find space in the overhead for my bag on completely full flights to Los Angeles. Again, this is only speaking in terms of flying from Thailand, Japan, and Korea. I cannot speak of other Asian Countries but I fly quite frequently from Los Angeles to Asia & v.v. every year. Asians queue organized in most cases versus Westerners. It seems more to do with culture. Don't be offended if you do not pay attention to these things as I closely do.
2) On departure from the USA to Asia on F or J tickets, I do visit the lounge, but I do arrive for Priority Boarding, but only proceed to the Priority Line after the pre-boarding for handicapped, UM
, special handling, small children, etc. have boarded because of the way I have seen the cabin baggage system being abused all over the U.S.A.
+ WHY? Because Gate Agents in the U.S.A. (depending on region, IMO) are less-concerned about queuing than others. I have seen agents at Newark Airport (CO) gesture with a long stretch of arm to move everyone to a single line to make space for others to board. Los Angeles Gate Agents (DL) seem to be more involved in answering the many questions passengers have and finishing paperwork versus checking the size of passenger bags and pillows and Ralph Lauren Home Comforters I have seen go through that gate so passengers in Economy can bring their bed collections onto their seat in the window sides. I mean really? You don't notice THAT? As a sidenote: I understand there is a Reserve Program where there are part-time agents or pay isn't that exceptional (we all know here on a.net) but that doesn't excuse complacency with procedures and restrictions.
If you can enforce upgrade policies and change fees and ticket rules to the letter, then surely, something as simple as a carry-on baggage can be enforced regardless of how bad your day might be. And I'm not really speaking about personal experiences, but more about what I keep reading here on airliners.net on the ever-lasting 'war' between airline employees and non-airline employees.
3) On intra-USA F/Y tickets, I have seen what you call "gate lice" hoard in massive circles around boarding areas and watched the First Class Boarding commence and after hearing announcements to "clear the area" or "for an on-time departure, please form a single line..." and it fails miserably here in the U.S.A. Americans are sadly not the greatest and forming an organized queue and poor at being aware of others around them. I am Asian-American born in the U.S.A. so I really am aware of courtesy and others around me based on my upbringing from my Asian side of my ethnicity. U.S. Military Personnel, from personal experience, are most respectful of others in the airport gates during the boarding process and I seldom see any uniformed officer crowding a gate doorway. I wish airlines would hire military personnel, btw. I always give my free drink coupons to them when I see someone in uniform.
+ WHY? Lack of lounges for Premium/Priority Passengers or lounges located landside. DL
has their SkyClub located before TSA
so this certainly doesn't help us. DL
has use of AF
but the policy says only if the lounge staff allows due to space availability and this lounge is located very far from the DL
Departure Gates in IAH
. Not all DL
Airports have SkyClubs or Partner Lounges or simply the airport is so small, where a lounge is not warranted, but guess what? The First Class Passenger wants to get on the plane from sheer boredom because not all of us fly on business and don't have emails or presentations to prepare for. For me, I just want to sit down and relax and enjoy a pre-departure cocktail before take-off.
In all of this being said, and these are my personal opinions based on personal experience, I would also like to say I always stand in a single-file line OR
on the opposite the gate door (at another gate) or against a wall where there is enough room for pre-boarding and wheelchair and cabin staff to comfortable walk past the crowd for easier access to the doorway.
A little courtesy and awareness for all goes a very long way. This goes from the passenger and all the way up to the airline employees. Flying is a two-way relationship. It really needs to start with enforcing the baggage restrictions for the cabin and the organization of the queue. If passengers weren't used to such complacent behavior, airline employees would have a seamless boarding experience without the need for this sense of urgency that is so not needed. Passengers would no longer feel compelled (frequent fliers, anyway) to feel rushed to board the plane.
And yes, it is complacency. It sounds harsh, but that is what it is no matter how you sugar-coat it. So dust off those gate-check tags and teach the violators a lesson so maybe they will pack light next time. Cause and effect.
4) In the argument of turbulence, it is also a two-way street and I really think everyone can understand when you need the restroom, YOU REALLY NEED THE RESTROOM. For example, Asians having dairy for the first time, or Americans flying back to the U.S.A. because they endured spicy Korean Food where they spent most of their holiday in Seoul in restrooms because of the food? Travelers stomach flu??? Of all people, Flight Attendants should understand that food does not always agree and not everyone flying to foreign destinations is eating the complimentary American Breakfast at their hotels the entire stay such as Cabin Crew do at their respective hotels. Further, when I see Cabin Crew moving about the cabin during the illuminated 'fasten seat belt' sign (not performing cabin checks) obviously there is some risk, but obviously it tells me if I really need the restroom, I will survive because CLEARLY this Cabin Attendant within view is doing something in the galley and delivering it to some passenger needing something (that most likely could have waited if it were that serious).
+ WHY? We are all human and when you need to go during turbulence, it must be out of desperation. As an Asian-American, I had such a hard time with dairy products growing up and since I've lived mostly in the U.S.A. and Europe and only visit to Asia, I have now a hard time with more with Asian Dishes versus Dairy. Funny how the tables turn.
I seldom have had such issues as I choose my meals wisely when flying. Other times, it cannot be helped even with the most careful planning. For any other reason, there should be no real reason to be walking around the cabin during turbulence. Again, it's my opinion.
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